JNTO wants to make Japan the ultimate destination for UAE tourists

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Updated 13 January 2020

JNTO wants to make Japan the ultimate destination for UAE tourists

  • Tourism body JINTO has identified the Middle East as an important emerging market for travelers seeking unique luxury experiences
  • The number of international visitors to Japan reached 10.3 million in 2013 and tripled within five years

RIYADH: As a travel destination, Japan is diverse and world-class, with 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a rich, modern pop culture.

The archipelago is more than 3,000 km long, with each prefecture and region home to its own unique offerings, including local culinary delicacies, crafts and festivals, to name a few.

In 2013, the number of international visitors to Japan reached 10.3 million. In five years, this number tripled, meaning that in 2018 Japan welcomed over 31 million international visitors, translating to an 8.7 percent increase year-on-year.

Last year, Japan was ranked fourth in the world by the World Economic Forum for its travel and tourism competitiveness.

Japanese cuisine, shopping, hot springs and theme parks are among the principal attractions for leisure visitors.

Accommodation options across the country’s eight regions and 47 prefectures are broad, ranging from major five-star brands to ryokans (traditional Japanese-style inns).

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is involved in a wide range of activities, both domestic and international, which encourage tourists from all over the world to visit the country.

Last year, the JNTO identified the Middle East as an important emerging market for travelers seeking unique luxury experiences.

From the Middle East, the JNTO’s focus will be reaching out to and encouraging leisure travelers — including families, young adults, and those seeking wellness, luxury and authentic cultural experiences such as gourmet dining — to visit Japan.

The JNTO participated in Dubai’s Arabian Travel Market in April 2019, conducting numerous tourism seminars for the region’s travel trade professionals

Connectivity between the UAE and Japan is excellent, with Emirates Airlines flying direct daily to Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports and Osaka’s Kansai airport, and Etihad Airways offering daily direct flights to Narita Airport.

The JNTO further strengthened its presence in the region by appointing marketing and PR agency AVIAREPS as a representative to regularly collaborate with regional airline partners in conducting joint consumer promotions, advertising campaigns and ongoing marketing activities that serve to generate greater awareness of Japan’s attractions.

The JNTO encourages visitors from the Middle East seeking an authentic experience to not simply limit their visits to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, but also to use the opportunity to venture out to places such as Hokkaido, Tohoku, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa.

The JNTO is planning to renew and expand its official Arabic-language website this year to ensure that relevant, up-to-date information is made available to all.

The organization is committed to furthering its activities in the Middle East so that an increasing number of travelers can easily learn more about the touristic treasures Japan has to offer.

Daisuke Kobayashi is a senior official of the Japan National Tourism Organization in the Middle East.
 


Big oil feels the heat on climate as industry leader promises: ‘We will be different’

Updated 22 January 2020

Big oil feels the heat on climate as industry leader promises: ‘We will be different’

  • Trump singles out ‘prophets of doom’ for attack
  • Greenpeace told the Davos gathering that the world’s largest banks, funds and insurance companies had invested $1.4 trillion in fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate deal

LONDON: Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg slammed inaction over climate change as the global oil industry found itself under intense scrutiny on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The teenage campaigner went head to head with US President Donald Trump, who dismissed climate “prophets of doom” in his speech.
She in turn shrugged off the US president’s pledge to join the economic forum’s initiative to plant 1 trillion trees to help capture carbon dioxide.
“Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough,” Thunberg said. “It cannot replace mitigation. We need to start listening to the science and treat this crisis with the importance it deserves,” the 17-year-old said.
The 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum was dominated by the global threat posed by climate change and the carbon economy.
The environmental focus of Davos 2020 caps a year when carbon emissions from fossil fuels hit a record high, and the devastating effects of bushfires in Australia and other climate disasters dominated the news.
Oil company executives from the Gulf and elsewhere are in the spotlight at this year’s Davos meeting as they come under increased pressure to demonstrate how they are reducing their carbon footprint.
“We are not only fighting for our industry’s life but fighting for people to understand the things that we are doing,” said Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental, the US-based oil giant with extensive oil operations in the Gulf. “As an industry when we could be different — we will be different.”

‘Planting trees is good, but nowhere near enough,’ activist Greta Thunberg told Davos. (Shutterstock)

She said the company was getting close to being able to sequester significant volumes of CO2 in the US Permian Basin, the heartland of the American shale oil industry which is increasingly in competition with the conventional oil producers of the Arabian Gulf.
“The Permian Basin has the capacity to store 150 gigatons of CO2. That would be 28 years of emissions in the US. That’s the prize for us and that’s the opportunity. People say if you’re sequestering in an oil reservoir then you are producing more oil, but the reality is that it takes more CO2 to inject into a reservoir than the barrel of oil that it makes come out,” Hollub said.
The challenge Occidental and other oil companies face is to make investors understand what is happening in this area of carbon sequesteration, she added.
The investment community at Davos is also looking hard at the oil industry in the face of mounting investor concerns.
Greenpeace told the Davos gathering that the world’s largest banks, funds and insurance companies had invested $1.4 trillion in fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate deal. It accused some of these groups of failing to live up to the World Economic Forum goal of “improving the state of the world.”